Are Your Event Staff the Root of the Problem?

Event staffDid you know that 80% of businesses will fail in their first 18 months? Other data show that 96% will succumb in 10 years. No matter the statistic, we know many entrepreneurs won’t have the outcome they worked so hard for or dreamed of. So, where do they go wrong?

A Forbes article lists five reasons. One being the lack of a “profitable business model with proven revenue streams.” While this is not readily overcome without a significant overhaul, businesses can address the other reasons with greater ease. For example, new businesses may be ignoring the need to connect with customers “through deep dialogue.” They may not have differentiated themselves in the market. Or, if they have, they failed to describe their uniqueness to their target audiences. In all of these cases, experiential marketing can help by connecting with consumers on a personal and meaningful level. 

The Link Between New Businesses and Experiential Marketing

With the formation of a new business, entrepreneurs make a plan and hire a team to set it in action. And though this doesn’t begin to cover all the detail that goes into the endeavor of starting a company, the same requirements are necessary for an experiential marketing campaign. It’s success is largely dependent on a solid event plan, measurable goals, and a team that can carry it out. And, much like a business plan, the outcome of an experiential marketing event can carry significant weight for the success, and even longevity, of a business. In fact, the Event Marketing Institute reports 65% of brands can show a direct tie between experiential marketing campaigns and sales. These experiences encourage 74% of attendees to buy the promoted products, and 70% will thereafter make regular purchases from the brand.

This is why companies, both veteran and new, embrace experiential marketing to reach their most important goals. These include product launches, market differentiation and brand awareness, relationship building, revenue generation, and more. To fulfill these objectives, they must have the best event staff on-site every single time. Otherwise, marketers risk the success of their event, and even the integrity of their business. So you must ask, are your event staff equipped to succeed? Or is your experiential campaign set up for failure?

[Tweet “70% of event attendees who buy once will buy regularly. Make the most of your marketing events.”]

3 Situations Where Event Staff May Be the Root of the Problem

Consider the following and see if your event staff lack the skills to see your efforts through to success.

1. Are attendees left unsure about your product or brand?

Like 81% of brands that engage in experiential marketing, your goal may have been to create or increase brand awareness. Yet, when you surveyed attendees post-event, you found that your messages didn’t get through. They don’t understand how your product provides a solution or what makes it different from competitors. Worse yet, they don’t fully trust your brand.

Experienced event marketers and their event staffing partners know the importance of pre-event training. They take the time to ensure their event staff understand and retain key product and brand messages to share with attendees. So, as long as you make this effort on your end, you can presume the oversight lies with event staff at activation.

Professional event staff should find ways to work in your key messages at every turn. They should be adaptable within conversations to subtly share your product’s or service’s benefits, whether they’re supervising contests, giving demos or taking selfies. Their ability to convey this information and create a relationship with guests gives your brand authenticity, which helps attendees trust your brand. This is not only necessary for short-term purchase. Harvard Business Review says, “it can be an important source of strategic advantage,” resulting in continued benefits. 

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2. Did you fail to get the information you need?

Event and experiential marketing activations provide a prime opportunity to get invaluable feedback from those who matter most – your customers. For many, the goal is to get a certain number of quality leads to nurture relationships and drive business. Others may give attendees an exclusive look at upcoming products to get their input. No matter your objective, it can be frustrating to end the day without the information you need.

Going into the activation, event staff should have means to collect data. This may include lead cards. Or, you may have outfitted them with mobile technology to make their job (and yours on the backend) easier. You may have given them seamless methods to ask for the information. Or, you may have trusted them to use their own expertise to work your pitch into the conversation. The bottom line is, if your event team had the tools they needed to carry out the task, the goal should have been attained. Yet, in this case, the tools don’t refer to only the lead cards or event technology. They refer to their communication skills and ability to “think on their feet.” Having the best event staff means having individuals capable of capitalizing on the opportunity to capture strategic data.

[Tweet “Event staff must be clear on brand messaging to build trust with consumers. #experientialmarketing”]

3. Did you set out to sell a specific number of units, but fell short?

There are a few things that could have gone wrong in this situation. Start by asking yourself about your product in relation to your audience. How targeted were your attendees? If their demographics match those of your consumers, is the pricing right? Other factors may be at play, but you should also consider whether your event staff wavered under pressure.

You may have asked them to demo your product, and assuming they had the tools and knowledge to do this job, their skills should be examined. How are their interpersonal skills? Do they bring enthusiasm and know-how to the demonstration? Are they capable of making attendees feel comfortable, while asking for the sale? If your product’s landscape is competitive, can they handle assertive consumer questions and still manage to connect with your audience? The best event staff will be adaptable to any situation, not just rely on being personable. A variety of skills are necessary to be a gracious host, an expert demonstrator, and a successful closer. 

How to Find the Best Event Staff

It may be tempting to rely on current employees who work in other facets to man your experiential marketing activations. And, it’s so easy to take the word of self-proclaimed experts who apply to your job posting. Yet, as you can see, the role of event staff is not to be taken lightly.   These individuals must have a variety of strong skills to fulfill goals integral to the future of your brand. That’s why seasoned event marketers look to event staffing companies to supply their experiential marketing talent.

When choosing a reputable event staffing company, brands should consider capabilities in both planning and execution. First, the agency will want to understand the goal of the event in order to appoint the best event staff. Selection is based on their experience with the company and with relevant jobs, as well as their skills and traits. Your staffing partner can also coordinate training and provide mobile technology to ensure event staff have both the knowledge and tools they need. It is their goal to help you meet your objectives in pursuit of a bright future for your company.

At EPS, there’s nothing we love more than to see our clients succeed in experiential marketing and in business. That’s why we source the best event staff, who in turn give their all to meet each client’s event goals. 


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